Millwood looks to earn his first win over Atlanta as the Phillies open a four-game series with the Braves at Citizens Bank Park.
Millwood was drafted by the Braves in 1993 and spent six seasons in Atlanta, earning a 77-46 record. The right-hander won a career-best 18 games with the Braves in both 1999 and 2002, and won 17 in 1998, his first full year with the team.
The Braves traded Millwood to Philadelphia before last season for catcher Johnny Estrada. Millwood went 14-12 with a 4.01 ERA in his first season with the Phillies.
However, in his four starts against the Braves last season, Millwood went 0-4 with a 7.77 ERA—his second-worst career ERA against any team and worst against any team he has faced more than twice. He allowed at least four runs in each of his starts against Atlanta and five in three of them.
“They’re a good team,” Millwood said after losing 6-4 to the Braves on Sept. 8. “I don’t think we’re any less confident against them than anybody else. I just have to go out there and make my pitches.”
Of course, the Braves’ offense, which topped the National League with 907 runs last season, is far less formidable this year. Through Tuesday’s games, they ranked just 11th in the league with 196 runs.
Atlanta’s bats did show signs of life Tuesday as the Braves beat the Montreal Expos 6-1 for their fifth win in seven games.
Mark DeRosa homered and drove in two runs and Rafael Furcal hit a solo home run for Atlanta, which is within one game of .500 for the fourth time since May 5, when they were 13-13. They have lost in each of those chances to break even.
The Phillies beat the New York Mets 7-4 on Wednesday for their sixth win in eight games.
Jim Thome had two doubles, including a tiebreaking hit in the seventh inning, and Mike Lieberthal had a double and two RBIs for Philadelphia, which remained percentage points ahead of Florida in the NL East.